There’s a little spot right at the base of my son’s neck, in between his shoulder blades that always smells absolutely delightful! I don’t know how he does it – it’s an enduring mystery to me but no matter how stinky the rest of him gets – and it gets pretty darn stinky – that particular spot just smells divine. And the only time I get to smell it is when he graciously allows me to cuddle him in the morning when he’s crept into our bed the night before despite all threats and warnings. In the morning I am allowed to nuzzle that spot on his neck and just breathe in his childhood.
And that’s the happiest time of my day. Early in the morning with a child on each side of me as they drool on my pillow and mouth breathe some of the most noxious bad breath known to man – an odor that could be weaponized. My daughter slings one of her long legs across my stomach and one arm around my neck and even as I gasp for air while slowly losing consciousness, I ache for the time when her whole body fit in my arms.
And as they both wake up – my daughter first because, like me, she is an annoying morning person – and my son in very reluctant phases – we have wonderful random conversations. About friends and school and movies and television shows and pets and science and dreams. Oh the dreams are the best – why are kids’ dreams so much better than grown up ones?!
Adam has woken up to tell me sleepily that the funniest thing he’s ever seen was a turtle with running shoes – that IS funny! Also, he dreamed once that the whole world was made of candy – except human beings – that is both funny and comforting! Maya tells me about what she learned at school and the story of the book she’s reading and the sweet moves she made in soccer. And we talk about what we plan to do with the rest of the day and my brain tries to catalog every expression on their faces and every gesture they make in the vain hope that I can bottle up this perfect moment. Just before one of them kicks the other and all hell breaks loose!
So when I die – I really hope that my entire life does not flash before my eyes – let’s face it, I don’t want to remember my thrilling adventures in potty training or all the times I yelled at them or the times I considered running away to join the circus. No, what I really hope I remember is the weight of my daughters arm around my middle, and what I hope I smell is the base of my son’s neck, and what I hope I see is turtles in running shoes! That would be – a happy death, an almost comforting death indeed! That’s a sort of dark thought to end on – I hasten to assure you that I am feeling absolutely fine – very maudlin, but nonetheless FINE!!
For the Weekly Writing Challenge